Poets & Writers COVID-19 Relief Fund

Poets & Writers’ Board of Directors established the Poets & Writers COVID-19 Relief Fund to provide emergency assistance to writers having difficulty meeting their basic needs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund will provide grants of up to $1,000 to an initial cohort of approximately eighty writers in April. If we are able to secure additional funds, we will provide another round of funding.


Given limited funds currently available, at this time eligibility will be limited to writers who:

  • are listed in the Poets & Writers Directory as of April 10, 2020; or
  • have received a mini-grant from our Readings & Workshops program; or
  • have received one of the following awards or fellowships sponsored by Poets & Writers:
    • Amy Award
    • Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award
    • Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award
    • Galen Williams Fellowship

Poets & Writers employees and Board members, and their immediate family members, are ineligible.


Eligible writers may submit an application between Friday, April 10 and Sunday, April 19. Depending upon the volume of requests, we may limit the number of applications we review and encourage you to apply as soon as possible.

As of April 20, the application window is closed. We are unable to accept new applications at this time.

For other sources of assistance, please visit this page.


A committee comprised of members of Poets & Writers’ Board of Directors and 50th Anniversary Writers Committee will review each application. Review is based on specific criteria to prioritize those writers with greatest financial need.


We will notify each applicant of the status of their application by the end of April.


Grants will be issued by check or PayPal.


We respect applicants’ privacy and will not disclose any personal information related to applicants or grantees. Grantees’ stories will be shared only with their express permission.


We sincerely wish we could provide support to every writer in need. Given the enormous need and our limited resources, we will only be able to help a small number of applicants. We encourage you to pursue all other avenues to identify the assistance you need. We’ve listed many resources here; we’ll update this page regularly, so please check back often.


Please contact relief@pw.org with any questions.


Poets & Writers’ Board of Directors has allocated $50,000 from the organization’s reserves to seed the fund. We are deeply grateful to those who have provided additional support, including Zibby Owens, Michael Pietsch, Stacy Schiff, Amor Towles and others.

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